In 28 days a 67 Percent Improvement in Strength

It is rare for a woman to do a single chin-up. It is rarer still for a tall woman to do a chin-up. Years ago I began working out a 5'9" woman who could do three chin-ups. Her routine had been to do three chin-ups followed by several demanding negative reps every Friday at 5:00 for more than a year. She worked hard but she never improved. She was not remotely close to conpleting a fourth repetition.

This woman would do a whole body strength training workout once or twice week and use the aerobic equipment other days.

Her trainer resigned and I began training her. On the first Friday she insisted on doing chin-ups. It told her she had nothing to lose by taking a week off from that one exercise. She reluctantly acquiesced. She came in the next Friday with a negative mindset, fully expecting to be weaker. She did four chin-ups. She was amazed. When I asked her to forgo chin-ups the week after that she complied. Week four she did five chin-ups - a 67 percent improvement in the number of completed repetitions in 28 days by doing less. She was ecstatic; it was like magic.

There was no magic. Chin-ups followed by negative chin-ups are demanding and require time to recover. This woman was chronically over-trained, and a couple of weeks off allowed her to recover.

I told this story to another gym member. He reply, “You know women are liars. I bet she was doing chin-ups every night at home during those four weeks”. I guess I would have trouble believing it too. I took me years to understand that training less often can produce more improvement. At first I refused to believe the improvement could come from doing less, but it kept happening to me and those I trained – often in dramatic fashion.

By training too often you ruin two workouts. The first workout that stimulated change is worthless if you do not give your body a chance to recover. The second workout is worthless as well as you cannot give your best effort if you are not 100 percent.

How often you need to workout will depend on a number of factors; most important are recovery ability, duration of exercise, level of intensity, and frequency of certain exercises. It took me years of trial and error to figure out the right formula. That formula will be different for different people. An experienced trainer will know how to manipulate the variables safely to produce continuous improvement for her clients.

Strength increases occur exercising as little as once or twice a week, If it's the right exercise program. The personal trainers at New Orleans Personal Trainers and at Austin Personal Trainingcan guide you through a personal training program that will enable you to get more out of less time exercisingand keep improving.